Record 23.2 million hectares sown to winter crops across the country

While the 2021-22 winter crop is once again forecast to be well above average, many industry pundits are predicting a 70% chance of an all-time record harvest, albeit a little later coming into the bins due to wet seasonal conditions.

The curry for predicting a record result lies in the volume of seed put into the ground, a record breaking with 23.2 million hectares was planted. The second highest ever planting was set in the record harvest season of 2016-17 when 23.1 million hectares was planted.

Conservative estimates cite a harvest around this year projected to be 55 million tonnes, slightly down on the 2020-21 harvest that was the second largest winter crop on record at 55.6 million tonnes. The all-time record was set in season 2016-17 at 56.6 million tonnes.

Growers seem assured of two good seasons in a row and this year’s harvest is estimated to be more than 30% above the ten-year average to 2020-21.

One crop that seems likely of a record-breaking run is Canola with a harvest expected to reach 5 million tonnes, an increase of 11% per cent over last year.

Area planted to canola is estimated to have increased 24% to reach the third highest on record of just over 3 million hectares, boosted by producers responding to favourable world prices and excellent planting conditions in Western Australia and New South Wales.

Among other crops, chickpea production in 2021-22 is forecast to increase by 15% to 844,000 tonnes. While production of oats is forecast to fall by 5% due to a 9% reduction in area planted.